It’s quite common to hear the phrase “your trusted advisor” in real estate. But what does it mean to be a trusted advisor? What are the driving philosophies behind providing clients with the highest level of service? I believe there’s more to becoming a trusted advisor than meeting basic ethical and professional obligations.
If someone were to ask me “How do I become a trusted advisor?” I’d offer these five suggestions as a start:
1. Empathize with people. Imagine, as you’re listening to them, that they’re not describing their problems, questions, and dreams, but they’re describing your own. Imagine yourself as the star of the movie of their life and be aware of how you would feel.
2. Be a part of the solution, even if you cannot solve the problem. Can you solve everybody’s problems? Of course not. But you might be able to help them to see a pathway through their problem. This might be in the form of questions that help them think something through. It could be a referral to someone who can help them with their problem. It could even be as simple as a list of good articles which deal with the problematic topic.
3. Aim to counsel, don’t aim to please. An advisor is a true ally. A “yes person” is untrustworthy. The truth is not always pretty and it is sometimes hard to accept. Risk short term rejection over a tough truth in order to grow a long term relationship.
4. Teach others how to teach themselves. (Don’t just give answers.) The more you can increase a client’s capacity to empower themselves, the more valuable your standing will be in their eyes. Think about it: Do you ever forget your mentors?
5. Give without anticipating return. If you’re running a little cost/benefit analysis in your head for every interaction, you’re not giving freely. Hesitancy, a stinginess of spirit, and an unwillingness to risk without reward will always cost you more than you think.
If you could use some real estate guidance, I would love to show you how I practice these concepts with every client I serve: